2Late 2Change

2Late2Change – Freakin’ Exercise Vacations

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By Dixie Brunner

Here’s my major question – even if no one asked – when did vacations become these high velocity adventure/exercise/work-type of things? In my day (that’s for my sons’ sake, they heard it many times growing up), if I had to walk 10 miles to school in the snow (uphill, both ways) ... why on God’s Earth would I want to hike, perform strenuous exercise, or actually work during my coveted vacation time? According to all things tourism, studies indicate the trend is that folks are seeking ‘physicality’ during their coveted week or two off their regular work duties. Well wow, I‘d like to know who sent out that memo? Not cool, millennials! We gave birth to you and you owe us, and now you’re being traitors! Why? When did it become a vacation necessity to get our darn heartbeats elevated over a certain number? I remember quite clearly, especially through all our years of family camping, that Dixie’s dream vacation fantasy involved wining, dining, candles, soft music and a hot steamy bath. Now when on Holiday (as Europeans call it), we’re supposed to work our friggin’ bottoms off! So apparently hiking is in. Great! So when my grandchildren come to visit, it’s really supposed to be more about basic training than spoiling? Okay, I’ll go along with it. (Incidentally, I do think we could bond just as well over an ice cream sundae!) But I’m not against exercise and getting healthier, so I’ll give it a wing. “Come on kids. Put down those phones, strap on some hiking boots, grab a backpack and let’s go,” I say, rallying the troops while trying to get pumped up myself. “Where we going Grandma?” They ask, respectfully humoring me. “To the top of that 1000 foot hill over there,” I answer, with a quiver in my voice. (Now be brave Dixie, I whisper to myself.) By the end of the hike (10 miles, this time really uphill both ways), they’re happy and healthy, and I’m lying prone on the floor, whining about muscles I didn’t remember I had. But you know what, it all works. Fresh air, beautiful scenery, healthy exercise and time spent in nature with my favorite young people is possibly the best way to spend vacation time together. Go figure and go explore on those Rocks of Ages!

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Taking a hike in the colorful hills around Paria. Photo by Jill Williams.

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